The post-traumatic growth journey of women who have survived intimate partner violence: A synthesized theory emphasizing obstacles and facilitating factors

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Abstract

Suffering intimate partner violence (IPV) is a devastating personal experience and post-traumatic growth (PTG) is a positive, psychological change in a person, following trauma such as IPV. There is a gap in the literature when it comes to theories on PTG after surviving IPV. The aim of this theory development was to synthesize an approach to understanding the PTG journey of female IPV survivors. According to our theory, their PTG journey includes eight main components: 1. The women's early experience of trauma, 2. The consequences of that trauma, 3. Their experiences of IPV, 4. The consequences of IPV, 5. The facilitating factors to PTG, 6. The hindering factors to PTG, 7. Their experience of PTG, and 8. The lingering effects of IPV. According to our findings, PTG is a real possibility for female IPV survivors, and it is likely to improve their mental health, well-being, and quality of life, as well as that of their children, loved ones, and communities, thereby decreasing the damaging effects of IPV. The theory can be useful for professionals when guiding female survivors of IPV to promote their recovery and healing. Due to the lack of research in this field, additional research is needed to further develop this theory.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8653
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge that this research was funded by The Icelandic Gender Equality Fund (grant number 190174-0551 and 200264-5501) and The Science Fund of the Icelandic Nurses’ Association (no number available).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.

Other keywords

  • gender-based violence (GBV)
  • intimate partner violence (IPV)
  • mental health
  • post-traumatic growth (PTG)
  • public health
  • rehabilitation
  • theory development
  • theory synthesis
  • trauma recovery
  • women’s health

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